Prostate Guideline Causes Many Needless Biopsies, Study Says


February 28, 2011

The New York Times

Current guidelines for the early detection of prostate cancer recommend a biopsy for men whose P.S.A. rises rapidly, no matter what the initial level. But a new study says that the practice does not help patients find aggressive cancers and that it results in many unnecessary biopsies.

P.S.A., or prostate-specific antigen, rises with age, and what is considered normal varies. In general, a level under 4 nanograms per milliliter is considered safe. But even with a normal reading, an increase of 0.35 nanograms per year is widely believed to be high enough to require a biopsy... Read More